US President Barack Obama’s second visit to India as the Chief guest at the Republic day celebrations on January 26, has been in the headlines for a while.
The first serving US President to visit the country twice, Obama will be landing in New Delhi amid tight security in the early hours of January 25. Around 50, 000 security personnel, 15, 000 CCTV cameras, radars and other security measures would be deployed as a part of a seven-layered security blanket for the President. AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) to monitor the air movements and other threats in the region are also being deployed. His three day visit literally has shut down the entire capital till January 26 with offices, arterial roads and metro stations closed for security. The Taj Mahal will be closed for citizens when Obams visits the monument with his family and commercial flight movements to Agra would be curtailed.
The people should be informed or made aware of the aspects of an agreement or treaty whenever one is signed between India and any foreign country. But the present government doesn’t even consult the Opposition on crucial matters. India is largest foreign buyer of US weapons and US remains the biggest exporter of military equipment. The BJP-RSS have always boasted of the being self-reliant in terms of weapon manufacturing and before coming to power had criticized the Congress government for neglecting the matter accusing them of bribe charges. One is compelled to think why the progress achieved in the field of missile technology couldn’t be applied in the field of weapon manufacturing. India will be self- contained and independent only if we overcome the ban imposed by the western powers after the Pokhran nuclear experiments. During the meet, India and the US are likely to enter an extensive defense deal.
Talks about renewing the Nuclear deal signed in 2005 by George W Bush and Manmohan Singh are underway. India US Contact group convened in London are moving things in this direction. The group has given positive responses about the implementation of civil nuclear deal so as to achieve Modi’s target of an electricity output for everyone by 2020. According to Indian nuclear liability law, the equipment suppliers are responsible for nuclear disasters if any and should provide the compensation. But as per US and French laws, it’s the responsibility of the operators and India is against this policy. Conflicts during discourses in London still exist but India is likely to agree to the demands in order to prevent any troubles to Obama’s high profile visit.
Inviting Obama for the republic day functions is viewed as a part of Modi’s personal agendas by the political analysts and the media. The expectations are high with the event seen not just as a friendly meet but as an opportunity that would pave way for new significant deals. But Modi shouldn’t pander to the influences of the US and agree to deals that are not in favour of national interests. Since Obama has two more years in office, the coming two years are crucial for India and both the nations should work on improving the personal ties by sorting out mutual discords and a range of global issues.